Engineering honor society to organize annual Tau Beta Pi convention

Antonia Hutzell

Iowa State’s engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, will be hosting the annual National Tau Beta Pi Convention in Ames.

This is Iowa State’s fifth time hosting the Tau Beta Pi National Convention, with the last time being in 1988. The national convention will be Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in the Scheman Building.

Tau Beta Pi is open to all branches of engineering and consists of more than 230 chapters at universities across the country. Tau Beta Pi is Iowa State’s oldest active honor society.

To be part of the Tau Beta Pi chapter, engineering students must be in the top eighth of their class as a junior and the top fifth of their class as seniors.

Iowa State’s Tau Beta Pi chapter focuses on outreach projects and encourages community involvement.

“The chapter encourages involvement with engineering and helping your community with whatever skills that you acquire. Also, making ethical choices as an engineer and working on soft skills to present yourself better,” said Grant Anderson, senior in mechanical engineering and co-chairman of the Tau Beta Pi Convention.

According to the College of Engineering’s website, the Tau Beta Pis’ goals are to recognize excellence among freshman and sophomore engineers, build a community of engineers spanning all eight departments within the college and promote Tau Beta Pi membership in the junior or senior year.

The Iowa State Tau Beta Pi chapter won its bid in 2010 and the members have been planning for the convention ever since.

“We have been planning this for a long time and it is nice to see that things are starting to come together nicely,” said German Parada, senior in chemical engineering and co-chairman of the Tau Beta Pi Convention.

Tau Beta Pi members have been spending many hours working closely with their advisers and the College of Engineering to organize this event. Some of the organization duties included providing transportation and hospitality for the attendees and recruiting volunteers to help out with the convention.

“Even as a student, you can help plan and organize this sort of event. It is a great experience to practice leadership skills,” Parada said. “I want to encourage students to get involved in their organizations and venture off and try something different. As a student, this is definitely a learning experience.”

The Tau Beta Pi members hope to satisfy the needs of the attendees and ensure they enjoy their time at Iowa State.

“Organization of the whole thing is a huge deal,” Anderson said.

This three-day convention will bring together almost 500 attendees, including Tau Beta Pi officials, faculty advisers and representatives of each chapter from across the country to discuss business of the organization such as current events and small group discussions.

The convention agenda will consist of an awards banquet, business and committee meetings, tours around campus and through the various engineering departments.

Anderson said he is excited for the convention, especially for working on the event for more than a year.

“The convention is a great way to meet engineers across the country and make contacts while working with other high level students,” Anderson said.